The Ultimate Guide to Distributed Teams for Software Development: how to manage and scale

A common image in Distributed Teams for Software Development : boy in white tshirt drinks from mug while coding

What is your opinion on co-located work? For many tech companies, it’s becoming a distant memory. After all, they discovered the wonders of remote work decades ago. For those who build digital products, Distributed Teams are the way to go.

Distributed teams are becoming the norm. They (a) reduce costs, and (b) give access to a wider talent pool from all across the planet. This wide range of benefits also brings a few challenges that you need to overcome to succeed.

Do you want to know how to manage and scale distributed teams for software development? You came to the right place. This article has everything that you need to know to do it right, including:

What are distributed teams and why do they matter?

First of all, what does distributed work mean? In practice, it refers to any company that transcends the concept of physical space. One or more employees work from different locations. Be it another city, state, or even country.

Since geography is no longer an impediment here, the main focus is getting things done. Your distributed team can do their tasks from rented offices, public spaces, or even from home. We have the technology to thank for that. But the most important thing is that everyone remains on the same page, working async.

This is similar, but not the same as remote work. In remote teams, one physical location (headquarters) is the brain center of operations. That is where processes are defined and decisions made. Things are more linear and hierarchal.

Distributed teams don’t need this. Distributed work is a discipline for the entire organization, not only for the individuals that are far away.

Now you know the differences between distributed and remote are. It’s time to talk about why distributed teams matter.

Distributed teams benefit both companies and employees. This is why they are considered the future of work and are progressively used by tech companies.

While working with distributed teams, your company will be able to reduce costs. According to a study by PGi, distributing can offer real estate savings of US$ 10.000 per employee. It also makes it easier to use freelancers for some roles. This benefits tighter budgets – and also empowers scaling-up operations.

Going distributed is also a great way to boost employee productivity. It can offer more flexibility and convenience, with fewer distractions. The State of Work Productivity Report pointed out that 65% of full-time workers consider it one of the means to perform better.

Moreover, distributed teams are a great way to reduce attrition ratesAccording to a study by Owl Labs and TINYpulse, companies with remote work have a 25% higher retention rate. Also, it points out that 65% of the employees would like to work from afar.

And what about your talent pool? By distributing, you’ll be able to hire skilled people from any region and background. The benefits are not only reduced costs for talent acquisition but also the diversity of mindsets it can offer.

Are distributed teams really vital in pandemic times?

You’ve read about the benefits of distributed teams and what they are. The trend was gaining momentum before the world was hit by the new coronavirus. As you can expect, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this process.

People had to quarantine to avoid contamination. Thus, co-located work wasn’t a viable option – and well, the show had to go on. With that in mind, the remote-first approach became the norm in every industry you can think of.

And why distributed teams are vital in pandemics? As an employee-first approach to work, it makes it easier for these workers to practice social distancing. After all, they didn’t need to go to an office and meet their co-workers – and not people along the way.

The transition was smooth because there was a close-to-none change in routines. Plus, with health and safety assured, employee satisfaction is higher.

This was also an important factor in having better productivity. Many tech companies experienced accelerated growth rates during the pandemic. Having healthy, engaged product teams was key for top performance.

Due to the sudden arrival of the new disease, many companies had to rush this change in approach. According to Global Workspace Analytics, only 7% of the companies based in the United States had remote work before COVID-19 surfaced. Plenty struggled in having to invest in digitalization fast.

Was it successful? Yes! A study by PwC pointed out that 75% of the executives consider this change to be beneficial for their businesses. Not surprisingly, 72% of office workers want to work from somewhere else at least two days a week. This after the pandemic days end.

We don’t know if or when another pandemic will happen in our lifetime. That said, it is vital to look at the lessons taught by COVID-19. Distributed teams are an effective way to function in this context. They can avoid infections such as the new coronavirus, but also other ailments such as the flu, chickenpox, or other contagious diseases.

Why should software engineering teams strive to be fully distributed?

There are many reasons for software engineering teams to be fully distributed. Sure, we can point out that it is difficult to find world-class talents. According to Accenture, there are 1,2 million tech job openings with no available workers in the United States.

There is a widening skill gap and the fact that 60% of the employers have a hard time filling job openings in 12 weeks. It is then crucial to look for qualified talent elsewhere. India, Ukraine, and Brazil are tech developer hubs, albeit with different styles.

This doesn’t mean importing overseas talent so they can work co-located. Sure, you can do this if you want – but beware: it’s not the best decision cost-wise. After all, you can hire them to work from their own neighborhoods with less investment.

It is important to point out that having distributed teams is not a new thing for tech companies. They began hiring talented individuals from all around the globe to work from distance in the 1990s. Cost reduction was not only a goal but also an achievement.

So why not go fully distributed? Not only will the costs with physical space and other expenses from co-located work be reduced by zero. Also, you’ll be able to have the best talents. This will allow you to dodge many expenses and expand your budget.

Software development is a very competitive market. It is crucial to have a scalable company. Not having a tech team that is fully distributed is the same thing that riding a horse during a car race. Your competitors won’t downgrade for you to keep up with them, will they?

Who are the software companies thriving with distributed teams? What can we learn from them?

No article about distributed teams would be complete without practical examples, right? Don’t worry! We made a list of high-profile companies that are 100% remote to help you. Follow their company pages, get inspired, Here are them and what you can learn from their examples:

1. Skype

You probably know Skype. It’s one of the most important video conferencing software available. The company founded back in 2003 always knew the benefits of distributed tech teams.

While they were based in Luxemburg, they opted to outsource the development of the app. Their Estonian developers and designers proved to be a great asset for Skype. It helped them offer software that resonated with users – and the market. Microsoft bought them for US$ 8.5 billion in 2011.

2. Zapier

How about Zapier? They are a workflow tool that connects more than 2.000 apps such as Slack, WordPress, Dropbox, and Office 365. With annual revenue of US$ 50 million, they have more than 3 million subscribers. Zapier is used in colossal companies such as Spotify, Adobe, and Fox.

Why is the American company founded in 2012 is in this list? Because they have more than 250 employees in 23 countries. Zapier focuses on hiring people based on their skills, not their location. They use daily group chats and distributed project management apps to work in a way that they believe leads to better productivity.

3. Automattic

Continuing this list, there is AutomatticFounded in 2005, the company markets many notorious applications that you certainly heard about. Do Tumblr, Jetpack, and WordPress ring a bell? The latter is used by 34% of the world’s top 10 million websites.

With its freemium and open-source approach to its products, it also has distributed development teams. The founder Matt Mullenweg considers a better and more ethically responsible approach. To him, it prioritizes the productivity of their 1.3 thousand employees in 77 countries.

4. GitLab

Another example of a fully distributed company is GitLab. They believe that asynchronous communication is most effective and should be embraced. At least their US$ 2.75 valuation tells that it should.

The Ukranian company offers a DevOps platform that can be delivered in a single app. Used by Sony and Nasa, GitLab has more than a thousand employees in 63 countries.

5. Slack

Wrapping up the list is SlackOne of the most used corporate communication apps, they have 8 million daily users and are valued at around US$ 20 billionRecently sold to SalesForce, they are another example of a company that went distributed. Slack’s 1.664 employees are outsourced. They believe can increase development capacity.

How to move from co-located to remote to distributed teams?

So yes, having a fully distributed team is something extremely beneficial. That said, it is a process that demands adaptation. If suddenly done, it will be more challenging to scale it up.

The first step is preparing the mindset and cultureDecentralized goals, integrated efforts, and a clear vision are crucial for the company to thrive. Also, you need leaders with innovator and pragmatist mindsets.

Leaders must create a collaborative work environment. Taking it upon them to bring people open to diversity and inclusion is more than relevant. After all, distributed teams tend to have talents with a wide range of backgrounds.

For this, the talent acquisition strategy deserves a do-over. To make this adaptation easier, there is the possibility of outsourcing the recruiting processWith the know-how of a company specialized in building and scaling distributed teams, it gets much easier.

You need to scout the best candidates, with soft and hard skills needed – and, of course, the right mindset. Distributed work is not for everyone. Some people would rather not do their tasks remotely.

New call-to-action
You can also guarantee that employees have the equipment they need to work. Hardware, communication gear, and a good internet connection. Some companies offer spending money so new hires can get their workspace into shape.

There are many details to look for, right? But we can assure you it’s worth a try.

What is the right mindset for remote work?

Like we said before, distributed work is a mindset for your entire company. That said, you’ll need to know all about this mentality so you can focus on how to prepare your people to go beyond remote work. Here is everything that you need to know:

1. The remote worker is focused

When talking about a placeless mindset, it is important to point out that it’s all about focus. There are many distractions when working from home. The remote worker needs to be extra careful to avoid them. If this professional isn’t disciplined, it will be difficult to perform.

2. Time management skills are essential

The digital office lacks the physical presence of managers. It’s up to the worker to start and finish their tasks at the right time. That said, we are not talking about only showing up to work at the right hour. It is crucial that the employee knows how much time every task takes. Otherwise, they won’t finish all, affecting the whole team’s productivity

3. Communication skills are the heart of remote working

Since your distributed team is far away from each other, communication has a slightly different dynamic. For instance, body language won’t be there to help. Because of this, transparency is crucial for every remote worker. Without it, other members and managers won’t know everything that is going on and that is a serious problem.

How to streamline your distributed work processes

Since a distributed work process has many challenges. One of the most important things that you should watch out for is how to streamline it. There are many ways to do it – and we have a few tried and tested tips:

1. Always look for new tools

Sure, you’ll have a tech stack that your distributed team will use to work every day. That said, the playbook never says that you should only stick to them – that could be a fatal mistake. The market is always coming up with new tools.

But watch out: with the abundance of collaboration tools and other communication apps, pick only a few. Too many options may confuse your team and they need to communicate properly for this to work.

Oh, and there is an important thing that you should bear in mind. Some of these new tools can be free or freemium, allowing your company to save money. Since some software licenses can be expensive, this can make a huge difference.

2. Get ready to reassess your processes

This may be a hard pill to swallow, but are your company’s processes effective? It is vital that you always make this question for yourself. This will allow you to look for more efficient solutions. In turn, improving everyone’s performances.

How can you do it? By listing every process that your team needs to follow while working. With a step-by-step walkthrough, you’ll be able to see what is working or not. Even find out if there are unnecessary steps along the way.

In addition, it is vital that this reassessment of processes are made with the help of your team. Hear their opinions. Make adaptations that will allow you to make every goal easier to achieve.

3. Focus on having as fewer meetings as possible

Since communication is essential for any professional relationship to thrive, you should think about how you’ll do it with your team. One of the most important parts of it is the meetings – and they need to be effective.

Have you ever gone to a meeting and thought about how the topic debated could be done by simply sending an e-mail? This frustration is something that should never happen. After all, this interrupts the employee’s workflow, impacting productivity levels.

To sum up, it is vital that you focus on having fewer meetings as possible. If every member of your staff has to stop their activities to talk, make sure it is for an important reason. If chat or e-mail can solve the issue, it is the best option.

4. Always determine responsibilities

With great power comes great responsibility. Well, Uncle Ben would want Spider-Man to know the importance of knowing which activities are his. We spoke earlier about the importance of reassessing processes. This is a complementary part of it.

And why is it so? By defining responsibilities, it will be easier to see if a task assigned to more than one person – or to no one. This can optimize the team’s planning. You might even be able to add activities that weren’t foreseen. And, of course, allows you to focus on the results.

5. Transparency is essential

Furthermore, another important way to streamline your process is always being transparent with your team. And, of course, it needs to be reciprocal. By knowing everything that is going on, it will be easier to course-correct if needed.

When people are working from different locations, they aren’t around to see how the process is going. This is why transparency is essential for a streamlined distributed team. Without it, no one can know for sure if people are working – well, only when the results start to appear. Or should I say the lack of them?

How to pick the right tech stack for distributed teams

One of the most important things about remote work is the tech stack. Choosing the right set of tools for your distributed development team influences:

But how can you know which are the right frameworks, programming languages, libraries, development tools, and programming approaches? Here is everything that you need to know to pick the right tech stack for your distributed team:

1. Know your project requirements

The first step is knowing your project’s requirements. How? By analyzing the purpose and size of it, you’ll be able to determine what technologies you will need. And yes, the tech stack will need to be larger and more complex as the project’s scope gets more complex.

Small projects such as MVPs or single-page applications are a match made in heaven for Node.js-React and Python-Django. After all, they are notorious and easier to use.

And what is the best tech stack for medium-sized projects such as online stores or mid-market operations? You’ll need stacks with more layers, frameworks, and programming languages.

But how about large projects like complex marketplaces and enterprise applications? Focus on stacks with an even wider range of programming languages and frameworks. They are set to endure larger data traffic without compromising performance and integrity.

2. Watch the market to know which are the best tools for the moment

You’ll need a vast knowledge of the technical and architectural parts of software development to know which stack is the best one for your team. This will allow you to consider the benefits and weak spots of every tool.

One important tip is to focus on technologies that you are already familiar with and can rely on. Even though new ones are attractive, they are often too raw or experienced developers still don’t use them. The time your team will need to learn how to use them can affect their performance.

This doesn’t mean that you need to stick to the same old software and approaches. They may prove to be less effective and outdated, so there is a real chance of the project having a few setbacks.

So what is the middle ground here? Check the market to know which tools are the most used and promising ones. This will allow you to know when it is best to eventually change which ones you use at the right time.

3. Scalability is vital for any tech stack

One thing that you can’t forget is the importance of scalability. It allows you to develop your project even further and lets your application thrive. After all, the goal is to have an increasing number of users and the tech stack needs to be able to cope with it.

Moreover, there are two types of scalability that you should know of.

  1. Horizontal scalability is all about working with various devices and with a growing number of users.
  2. Vertical scalability allows you to add new features and elements to your app.

When you think about having good scalability, choose programming languages with a wide range of libraries and structures. They allow you to have more resources – and this is vital for scaling products.

4. It needs to make maintainability easier

But scalability isn’t the only important part of it. Bear in mind that the maintainability of your application can be done without any extra efforts. Your project will inevitably need maintenance to thrive. Making this process easier is crucial.

Your tech stack will need tools with an architecture that is mobile, scalable, and reusable.

5. Don’t forget about security

User data is one of the most treasured things nowadays – and you need to ensure that they are safe. Data leaks can be a real nuisance for your clients and, per consequence, your company.

When choosing the tools that will be part of your tech stack, it is crucial that you choose the ones that can provide a high level of security. Do your research before defining this so you won’t be caught off guard.

How to adapt your tech stack to remote work?

Still talking about tech stacks? Well, there is a very important detail about this subject that we can’t ignore. How to adapt them from a co-located team to remote work?

Following all the tips from the previous topic isn’t the only step.

  1. Firstly, you’ll need to audit your tech stack. By knowing which tools are essential and if any of them are surplus. Analyze the results and also see what your team thinks about them. Knowing the landscape of your tech stack is crucial.
  2. With this, you’ll be able to have a feasibility matrix and analyze which ones are fit are the most important ones. Also, you’ll know which ones make sense to be used by a remote team – and calculate the ROI.
  3. And what is the final step? After analyzing these stats and figures, you’ll be able to remove any tools that aren’t really useful for your project. For instance, SaaS solutions that are weighing on your budget.

Since tech stacks are known for always adapting to new realities, it is crucial to do this not only when moving on from co-located teams. Always check on which tools can be added or removed – it will make a huge difference to your team.

How much does it cost to set up a fully-distributed engineering team?

Well, it’s time to talk about costs, right? When corporations started to use distributed teams, their main goal was to save money. with talented professionals. It worked, with some companies even spending 90% less with overseas developers.

Also, it allows you to access a vast pool of talented individuals all around the globe. Moreover, there are more highly-quality workers that you couldn’t find on the local market. Thus allowing positions to fill faster. So yeah, a win-win situation.

And how to pay your remote workers? There are companies who choose to pay competitive rates. No matter where their employees are.

It may be a challenge to build a distributed team while basing their salaries on expensive markets. Regions such as Latin America tend to be a great solution.

With many companies using the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach, 67% of the remote workers use their personal devices at workIn additionBuffer’s State of Remote Report study pointed out that only 20% of distributed teams had help from their employers to pay for internet usage.

But how about let’s talk about service rates? By hiring oversea tech workers, you can save up to 50% on their average service rates. To hire LatAm tech talents you can pay an average service rate from US$ 20 to 30 per hour. So you’ll be paying much less for the services of talented professionals from the second-fastest growing technology market.

How to manage distributed employees?

Distributed teams offer many benefits that we wrote about in the previous sections of this articleHowever, managing distributed employees can be a difficult task if not done properly. Knowing this, we decided to share this list of hacks that we use in Ubiminds:

1. Have a structured meeting schedule

Your distributed team may not be working in the same physical location. Still, emulate some of the traits of a co-located office in order for them to succeed in their work-related activities. And that includes holding meetings.

Since no one will be working close to each other, they won’t be able to walk to the co-worker’s table when they need to talk. This can be done via communication apps, but what if they don’t?

With the needs of your employees in mind, focus on how regular meetings can improve their everyday routinesMaybe start the week by planning all their activities and reviewing them in the end.

Furthermore, it is vital to have an agenda and set all the goals of the meeting. After all, wasting time is terrible for productivity!

2. Choose the right software

And how can the management of distributed teams work with all this distance? Well, it is essential to choose wisely the communication channels that you will use. Also, it needs to be multi-channel.

And when we talk about thinking about many channels, it is because many devices can be used as work equipment. Laptops, tablets, smartphones, desktops, and even smartwatches. Choose tools that are compatible with more than one piece of equipment.

Moreover, there is a wide array of software that you can use. Video meeting apps, collaboration software tools, virtual desktops, and even screen sharing software. They can all improve the communication of distributed team members. This has a massive impact on their productivity.

Oh, and e-mail may be an important way to contact your colleagues – but don’t rely on it. For important/urgent topics, redundancy is key. You should also send messages to them on other platforms if something is urgent.

3. Make it a result-driven team

You and your employees won’t be in the same location, so how can you know how they are performing? If you focus on instant availability or hours spent connected, it won’t be the best way to access their performances.

A better solution is to make your team result-driven. This approach allows the results to speak for themselves – and this is great. By giving them flexibility, everyone will trust more in each other. This is important for the team’s morale and satisfaction.

Since communication for remote workers has a different dynamic than when they are co-located, don’t rely on traits such as body language. Speak clearly to avoid undesired misinterpretations.

Also, set realistic tasks and deadlines. To do so, they should be measurable – and to do so, you need to set clear KPIs (Key Performance Indicator). These metrics will allow you to know what has to be done in a precise and timely way and are vital to focus on any results.

4. Have an efficient onboarding process

Any type of work needs an efficient onboarding process to thrive. – and distributed teams aren’t different. When a new employee arrives, they need to learn about the company’s culture and processes as soon as possible. It’s the best way to ramp up their performances.

So yeah, a well-structured onboarding is a stepping stone of this process. You need to explain in detail:

Yes, you can use meetings. Produce content such as videos, podcasts, and articles to make this onboarding process more efficient. Also, you can assign a mentor to help the new member start his trajectory in your company.

5. Establish the time boundaries of your distributed team

As we said earlier, it is essential that you communicate well with your distributed staff. That said, you should check them regularly to know how their activities are going. If someone is having difficulties, you’ll know – and will be able to help.

But there are a few rules that you should follow. Establish time boundaries so they can have a work-life balance. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy and it is best that no one becomes a Stephen King character, right?

By establishing when your employees will be working and when will he be resting, they will be able to be more relaxed. This is a very important thing! This may be challenging when they are from different time zones. Consider all the member’s availability when setting meetings.

ARE YOU READY FOR DISTRIBUTED WORK? TAKE A FREE ASSESSMENT QUIZ!

6. Hire the right talent

Of course, the key to having a high performing distributed team is hiring the right people. Remote workers need to be focused and have a high level of self-discipline. This is not something that everyone has.

When recruiting, watch if the candidate has any experience as a remote worker or freelancer. These are good signs that this person will be fit for the position.

But you should bear in mind that it is not the only thing to consider. Analyze the candidate’s hard skills and soft skills to see if they fit the spot. Also, your future employee needs to understand the company’s culture and products.

Key challenges distributed teams face (and how to overcome them)

What are the most common tests to the flexibility, scalability and ability of your distributed team? Here are the key ones:

How to keep a distributed team connected?

Like we said earlier, communication for remote teams can be a hard task. Since there are many communication platforms, it solves the problem.

But how does it work in the real world? Without communication processes, this wide range of apps will be useless. So yes, you need a team with focus on transparency and with a feedback culture.

How to improve the productivity of a distributed team?

Since distributed teams have a different approach than co-located ones, their productivity rates aren’t the same. With many remote workers choosing to work from home, it may be harder for some to maintain focus.

How to guarantee that their productivity will be good? One important process is setting a few hours of their timetables that they can focus on a few activities without being bothered. Dose meetings so they don’t take over!

How to manage remote workers from different time zones?

Because distributed teams are made of people from many different places, there is a real possibility of divergent time zones. And this may be a real challenge to set up meetings and other tasks that demand communication.

Having said that, it’s not that difficult to solve this problem. Every appointment needs to consider the covered time zones. You can use calendar softwares such as Google Agenda to know when every team member is busy. This will make it even easier to set up meetings.

How to deal with socio-cultural differences in distributed teams?

The lack of a physical space where your team can work from allows you to have collaborators from any location. With diversity bringing new perspectives, it can be great for problem-solving.

With people from different regions and even countries, socio-cultural differences will be something that everyone will have to deal withWithout good management, miscommunication and conflicts may surface – and you don’t want this.

How to overcome this? You and your team need to choose a common language to help the communication flow – probably English. Also, it is crucial to encourage everyone to bond and understand each other. A culture of respect is what makes us move forward.

How to ramp up distributed teams?

If you are thinking of going distributed, one of your main concerns must be on how to ramp up remote teams. Right? Well, it all begins with choosing the right talents to be a part of your staff.

As we said before, communication can be more difficult in distance. That also applies to job interviews. You’ll need to pay more attention to find out all the technical skills, soft skills, personality and, of course, communication and collaboration skills.

Writing and reporting skills are crucial. Your team will need to know how to express themselves. Also, it is important to know how this candidate’s workplace and every technical aspects such as equipment and internet connection.

These factors are useful to chose who you hire. Need help to hire people for your team? You can always outsource the recruitment process. Ubiminds is a talent powerhouse that can deliver you high-qualified and scalable distributed tech teams.

Pros and Cons of nearshoring software development: everything you need to know before deciding for or against staff augmentation

florianopolis_skyline_the_city_is_known_for_software_development

Scaling your IT team without losing efficiency and productivity during the process is a hard challenge to equalize. Considering the high salary of a good developer in the USA, and the time it takes to find this guy, it’s almost impossible to hire great talents with affordable prices. But there is a practical solution called nearshoring software development.

Just to have an idea, software engineers can cost on average USD 150k in New York, plus a fringe of about 20%. This US-based engineer will come out at USD 180k (minimally) if hired locally. At the same time, traditional recruiting processes may take months.

A solution for this dilemma it’s expanding your talent pool beyond US borders. Unfortunately, when you depend on a third to do things for you, chances are you’re going to have limited control about processes and get in trouble with time zone differences, linguistic and cultural barriers can make matters worse.

It can increase several kinds of risks such as: losing the quality of services, legal protection regarding Intellectual Property, Compliance, and other risks that you can check in detail in this article.

Would this be a dead end? Not at all.

Nearshoring software development is a good option to consider because can access world-class software experts located in very similar time zones, making all the processes faster, less costly, and yield great results. 

How does it work? What are the Pros and Cons? Keep reading to find more!

The undeniable benefits of Nearshoring software development

IT outsourcing as an industry is experiencing healthy growth and is predicted to grow by 4.42% between 2018 and 2022. At the same time, Nearshoring software development means counting on the cost-benefit of having a distributed team abroad, at the same time being able to manage it as if he were in his own country.

The great secret is that nearshoring software development teams can be smartly managed thanks to the geographical proximity and cultural fit. So you can ensure quality and efficiency in managing your team.

That’s why many American companies are adopting this model –  nearshore business process outsourcing already reached a revenue of 23.6$ billion, according to Statista.

Since your expectation with outsourcing hires is to save time and increase productivity, dealing with poor communication or lower the quality when developing your products must be out of the question!

Thinking about this, many companies have adopted Nearshore Software Teams, because it allows leaders to tap into a global talent pool without the high expenses associated with hiring within the US. US organizations already registered an average of 38% to 48% savings in labor costs by outsourcing IT functions to Central and South America.

Here is a shortlist of benefits for choosing a nearshore team:

Reasons why Short Flight Times are important

The home office is a divine gift for IT teams (thesis more than confirmed after the covid-19 pandemic). But let’s be honest: sometimes nothing can replace being face to face with your team, right?

When we talk about a nearshore team you’ll be able to:

Reasons why compatible Time Zones can make your software development strategy easier

Nearshoring software development allows you to meet with your team in a time zone similar to yours. As a positive result of this proximity of locations you can:

As you might expect, it would be a lot easier if we didn’t have to deal with time offsets at all.  It’s impossible to avoid them entirely, but many issues can be solved by Nearshore Teams.

How easier is integration with In-House Development Crew

As a nearshoring software development programming team that has equivalent schedules and speaks the same language as you, the efficiency of the integration with the In-House Development Crew is too much easier.

If integrated correctly, internal and outsourced teams can complement each other very nicely, filling gaps created by their counterparts while highlighting the advantages of each model.

You more than anyone know that a fully and well-done integration is only accomplished after a series of conversations, technical meetings, and frequent get-togethers. So, if you have a nearshore team it’ll be easier to establish strong relationships and routines than an offshore, for example.

How you can gain a Higher-Level of Engagement By bringing together Related Cultures

Finding devs with related cultures ensures that you can communicate properly with them. It can be easier to talk to someone familiar with American culture.

In a study with open-source software communities, researchers found that developers tended to connect with people with similar levels of performance and experience.

So, establishing this similarity will be crucial to integrate internally and nearshoring devs. Nearshore software development is composed of engineers and devs who will be able to add value where in-house teams struggle.

Most of the South American countries show high proficiency in the English language, beating out China and India who have remained at low proficiency. Brazilian devs, for instance, are excellent programmers to assist tech companies overseas in building and maintaining their products.

Also, in 2012, Brazil’s software market grew by 26.7%, surpassing China, and ranking the country seventh globally in the industry. With more than 250,000 IT professionals, and approximately 23,000 new IT graduates entering the industry each year, Brazil is a great place to find software developers.

World map highlights Brazil as a good time zone overlap with the Americas as a whole

Analysis of Brazil as an Offshore Services Location – TimeZone is a bonus

Original reference: Analysis of Brazil as an Offshore Services Location, Gartner, 2019

How you can Enhance Communication Between Outer and Internal Resources

Software Development Teams should feel that they can easily communicate with their team members as well as upper management, otherwise, nothing will work as it should.

With nearshoring software development, the communication style and quality expectations are comparable to onshoring but at rates similar to offshoring.

To enhance communication between outer and internal resources, you should:

Value-for-money: when cheaper Price than US Developers is an alternative

One of the best benefits of Nearshore Teams is hiring excellent software engineers and devs cheaper than US developers  – 40-50% less on cost-per-hire. There’s an entire hidden pool of highly qualified and innovative Engineers overseas still waiting to be explored.

Brazil, for example, is the largest Startup Ecosystem in Latin America. It has the biggest city in the continent (São Paulo) attracting hundreds of new and well-established companies – such as Google and Facebook – as well as other cities like Rio, Belo Horizonte, and Florianópolis that are leading Brazil’s tech scenario and luring the most talented Engineers in the country to work for their tech companies. Engineers with a great education, multiple languages skills, and striving to elevate their career.

See more about the Brazilian IT Market:

Find more about What does Brazil’s great tech talent pool.

Still, confused? Learn what is The Difference between inshore vs nearshore vs offshore

Nearshore, offshore, onshore… At last, what’s the difference between them?

Let’s begin with the traditional: onshore. This model refers to giving work to an organization in the same country you reside in.  One of the best benefits of working with an onshore team is to collaborate with your team daily and of course the Real-time communication. But, costs usually are higher. 

In the meantime, offshore outsourcing relocates work to different countries – mostly like India, China, and Eastern Europe. That’s why chances are that your offshore company follows business and management processes very different from your own. Time zone differences, linguistic (documentation standards, nomenclature, level of detail, etc), and culture usually are the biggest barriers.

Graphs show the drawbacks of offshore outsourcing include poor communications, quality control, and cultural differences

Drawbacks of offshoring include poor communications, quality control, and cultural differences

Original source: Reach Home Loans

Finally, nearshore outsourcing means contracting teams in a nation that is geographically (and relatively) near to the hiring company’s home country. Besides that, working with nearshore devs means gaining a diversity of skill sets, practices, protocols, and methodology, having a fresh point of view on the problem, and establishing more autonomy to create innovative products.

Graphs show the nearshoring software development evolution's over time

Nearshore benefits grow over time

Original source: Softtek

Understanding these three models will be crucial to establish your strategy of building and scaling high-performance teams.

The difference between Onshore, Nearshore, and Offshore (Table Comparison)

Onshore Nearshore Offshore
0 hours of difference 1 to 3 hours difference 6 to 12 hours of difference
The software development team is in the same country as your company The software development team is in a nearby country The software development team is usually on a different continent
It’s expensive and time-consuming It´s cost-effective when compared with your local market Often cheaper than the nearshore option
Not applied Direct flights available (with a flight duration of 2 to 3 hours) Long flights (with a flight duration of 13-20 hours)
Not applied $ 2,000 minimum (airfare) $ 450 average (airfare)
Can have the same difficulty of nearshoring management Easier to manage due to the short time zone difference More difficult to manage due to the time zone difference

X factor: What is The Difference between own team vs outsourced

How to avoid rifts between your American-based team and whoever is abroad

If you want to avoid that your saving money hiring strategy turns into a nightmare, your outsourcing must be well thought out. Consider that outsourced engineers aren’t in full synergy with your product team, so to accomplish your goal of building a high-performed software development team you should create successful communication, effective validation mechanisms, and processes to avoid re-work to fix or adapt non-conforming code. From the first interview until the integration and day by day work, it’s very important to align all the expectations, methodologies, and deadlines.

The Dilemma that every CTO needs to face: own team vs outsourced

Outsource or not? That’s the question. It’s good to say: outsource doesn’t do miracles at the same time as owning your own team doesn’t necessarily mean that you have everything perfectly controlled. This is a common pitfall that many IT Leaders fall into.

Before deciding for or against staff augmentation, consider the company goal. If your company needs to acquire talents for the long term, but also reduce costs, outsourcing will be the best choice. If time and money are not a problem for hiring devs, then building your in-house team is possible.

Here are some questions that can help you:

Anyway, every IT leader’s purpose must be to find the best cost-benefit and this objective leads most managers to choose to outsource, as shown by this survey by Deloitte.

Top reasons organizations opt for IT outsourcing:

Top 5 reasons for opting for an In-house development team:

When should you go for fully in-house engineers?

A fully in-house engineer is certainly the dream of all Software Development Teams. If you need to gather a high-performance team based on our own culture and methodology and, of course, money and time are not a problem for you, so you can go ahead.

When should you go for fully outsourced engineers?

Unlike the in house model, outsourced your Software Development Process is a solution to be applied if:

To quickly solve this question, compare below:

Topic Nearshore Team US Developer (onshore)
When costs are equal Winner
Long Term Commitment Equal Equal
No Office Distractions Winner
Quality of code Most of the times, the winner

When should you mix in-house engineers, staff augmentation, and project outsourcing?

Sometimes mix in-house engineers, staff augmentation and project outsourcing will be the best choice for you. The truth is that there is no 100% answer for it. Anyway, cost-benefit and quality will always be the deciding factor to the forefront.

If you have a great in-house development team, but you need a specific person with specific skills of course you should consider integrating an overseas talent with the rest of your engineers. Or, if you need to expand the operation in terms of intelligence (but hasn’t increased your budget), nearshore combined with in-house also will be perfect for you.

Half in-house and half outsourced is not usual but can be tested. make sure that you treat them the same when work is in question, Encourage Communication and Track the Result. I’m sure that will be an interesting experience.

We help you custom curate your product engineering team with nearshore talent best suited to you.

When deciding where to find your IT outsourcing provider, it’s important to know the exact requirements of your project, the allocated budget, and the time frame allotted for completion.

If you’re considering work with high-performance nearshore development teams, talk to Ubiminds to find more about our strategy to bring the best result to your company!

Moving forward: how Directors of Product and Engineering, CPOs, CTOs, and CIOs decide on career changes

Female programmer, in a wheelchair, is concentrated on her computer.

It might seem that career changes for IT professionals are easier. After all, these become sought-after professionals very early on. However, when it comes to higher levels of the organizational chart, decisions on switching positions become much more critical to professionals and companies.

We interviewed Aunt Bertha‘s Senior Director of Engineering, Tommy Morgan, to understand what drives moves. A seasoned practitioner of 20+ years, Tommy has risen through the ranks of startups to corporations and shares what impacted his previous career changes – and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Career changes for IT professionals: how do you know you’ve outgrown your role?

Tommy Morgan

The main reason for someone to take on new career opportunities (be it a new position or a whole different company) is timing. Personal and company goals change and evolve. The great match of four years ago might not be as relevant now as before. And that’s ok. Healthy turnover is important to keep companies and professionals competitive.

Recollecting on when he left rental marketplace startup Homeaway for Datatrak (a publicly-traded HealthTech), Tommy explains that it sometimes has nothing to do with the business, product, or team.

“I went through rapid growth and had plateaued”, he said. Individual career goals matter. “I went from individual contributor to manager. However, in a company of that size, the upward process is slower.” 

In this sense, trading companies meant more opportunities to learn and experiment.

Not surprising, given career changes for IT professionals are usually brought on by the same motivation as that of any other profession:

Although it is your job to be positive and bring a learning attitude, and employers will invest in motivation and engagement, it might be time for a career change.

Asking for a promotion vs. Moving to a new company

Product and Engineering teams share the same goal: add value to the company by building and delivering the best possible experiences for customers and users. If you’re still engaged and feel like you can contribute, but in another way, go ahead and negotiate.

You can – and should – discuss new attributions and compensation to match. But if you don’t feel challenged and learning, you’re probably ready for the next step. So let’s explore how you can move on from your current role.

There are rational points to a decision of what kind of company you want to gravitate towards. Tommy explains what made him pick his current employer:

“We’re venture-funded, so there’s that aspect. We’re also bound by HITRUST compliance.”, – challenging and new aspects to get excited about.

There are also emotional factors to take into consideration. The mission your work to support gives your day-to-day sense of purpose. For companies, a solid cultural match and shared goals usually mean better retention rates – so this is definitely something for HR, leaders, and professionals themselves to keep an eye on.

“I can go to other places such as Facebook and Google and make more money.  But here I have a mission to help people, and that’s important to me”, he exemplifies. This makes a lot of difference if you’re dedicating so much time and energy to a cause. The explanation is straightforward:

“Seeing what I can do to identify people by tracking users and using it to benefit companies instead of users wears me down. I’m squarely aligned with Aunt Bertha’s mission to connect all people in need and the programs that can help them (with dignity and ease), instead.”

Career changes for IT professionals of any rank – but especially leaders, that need to inspire their teams – should be a matter of both mind and heart. So if asking for a promotion can no longer do it for you, here’s how to move to a new company.

Tips on finding new positions

Of course, there are higher-level jobs available on job boards. However, Directors of Product and Engineering, CPOs, CTOs, and CIOs usually benefit from better suited professional match-making.

In Texas, as in many other states, there are boutique recruiters and placement firms available to support IT professionals on their way – with all due discretion. The relation to some of these began years before, those times in the position of a hiring manager.

The thing about really small companies is that they will give you a personalized touch” – and thoughtful processes usually pay off. Tommy only spoke to two companies before making his decision and final choice.

Then what made him turn down the other offer? “They needed a frontline manager, and the job was of very limited scope. The money would have been better, but boring!”.

How to pick your next job?

Talk to the relevant people: CTOs, CPOs, and other leaders of Product and Engineering teams.

“I interviewed the VP of Product and Engineering again and again. I wanted to know we had a shared philosophy on software development, DevOps culture, interested in quality and automation… and that we would move fast.”

Doing your due diligence is a must. “I asked for references, looked at Crunchbase, investors, and the profiles of the leadership team”, he elaborates. Everything has to align up, especially given leadership roles are longer-term than operational or tactical jobs within digital product teams.

What does a rewarding job look like?

Tommy is grateful to have opted for a more “socially-driven, noble cause” (his words). The success of the change became clearer once other hires began to match the shared goals and mission as well. We’re building a team I’m proud of“, he signs off.

Looking to improve your leadership of digital product teams? Have a read of our article: Go Distributed: how tech leadership should build, manage, and scale. 😉